LEAD-IN: On a chilly, but beautiful Carolina blue sky day in Chapel Hill, the 3-3 Boston College Eagles came calling for the 1-5 UNC Tar Heels.
And it didn’t take long for the Carolina offense to get going. Running back Ryan Switzer ran in for a touchdown to put the Tar Heels up 6-0 early. Unfortunately for Carolina, the extra point attempt was botched.
***Listen to the call***
The Eagles didn’t waste any time matching the score. Leading ACC rusher Andre Williams dashed to the end zone on a 56-yard play to put his team ahead 7-6 midway through the first quarter.
Quarterback Marquise Williams slung a beautiful completion to receiver Quinshad Davis to set the Tar Heels up for a good scoring opportunity as the first quarter came to a close in Kenan Stadium.
Williams scampered all the way to the 2-yard line for the Tar Heels to set up first and goal. And then running back A.J. Blue bashed the ball into the end zone to put Carolina ahead 13-7 with 13:35 left in the half.
***Listen to the call***
A heavy dose of Andre Williams greeted the Tar Heels in the next series, but a false start penalty committed by the Eagles set them back a bit on the drive. And a big third down play resulted in a textbook tackle by Jabari Price that forced a punt out of Boston College.
On the ensuing drive, Romar Morris started things off with a nice 13-yard run. And then quarterback Bryn Renner hurled a 33-yard completion to T.J. Thorpe to set up another great scoring chance for the Tar Heels.
Renner couldn’t escape the pressure on the next play and took a sack to move Carolina out of field goal range and set up another punt by Tommy Hibbard, who had a 76-yard boot earlier in the contest.
The Eagles went right back to well by handing off the ball to their main weapon, Williams in the backfield. And a 15-yard penalty of Carolina for personal foul handed Boston College a first down, but the Tar Heels responded nicely with a sack by Travis Hughes.
The Tar Heels rose up to hold the Eagles attack and got the ball back with 3:23 left in the half and two time outs still remaining in their pocket.
UNC wasted no time progressing the ball down the field highlighted by a solid strike from Renner to Davis. Tight end Eric Ebron picked up a first down on a third down carry to keep the drive alive as the clock kept ticking.
And then lightning struck for talented runner T.J. Logan as he sprinted ahead for a 35-yard completion. And then Bug Howard grabbed a short touchdown pass from Renner to push the Tar Heels ahead 20-7 with 52 ticks left on the clock for the half.
UNC played solid defense to close out the opening half of play in a sparsely populated, but spirited crowd in Kenan Stadium. At the half, it was Carolina up 20-7.
The halftime stat sheet showed the Tar Heels owning a 251-169 edge in total yards. Marquise Williams was the leading rusher for UNC with 40 yards and Bryn Renner was 14-16 for 153 yards and 2 touchdowns. Meanwhile for BC, Andre Williams had tallied 131 yards and a touchdown to keep his team in the game at intermission.
Romar Morris began second half proceedings with a solid 17-yard dash to gain a Tar Heel first down. And a keeper by Renner picked up a first down on a short yardage situation on third down. Next, a big sack by Eagle defender Pierre Lewis killed momentum and forced UNC to punt the ball back to Boston College.
Now, the ball was back in the hands of the Eagles. And quarterback Chase Rettig picked up a clutch third down completion to move the chains. The Andre Williams show continued as he pummeled ahead for big yardage on second and long. But a Kareem Martin sack set up fourth down for the Eagles.
A miserable 17-yard punt by BC’s Nate Freese gave Carolina a golden opportunity to break the game wide open. But would they convert? No way. A three and out handed the ball right back to the team from Chestnut Hill.
Another holding call for the Eagles set them behind schedule on offense to start their series. Backed up deep in their own territory, BC quarterback Rettig was unable to come up with the goods. The series was ended with a second sack by Kareem Martin.
Third and eleven was upon the Tar Heel offense in a blink of an eye. And nothing happened on the third down play either. A punting affair was becoming the scene in Chapel Hill as both defenses were playing strongly.
A three and out for the Eagles gave Carolina another shot at the ball with 1:38 left in the third quarter. The game was turning into an exchange of punts.
Renner found Ebron for a 33-yard pick-up and then went back to the well again to pick up another Carolina first down inside the BC 20-yard line. Marquise Williams threw a touchdown pass to Howard to put the Tar Heels up 27-7 with a few seconds left in the third quarter in Kenan Stadium. That was Howard’s second touchdown of the game.
Heading into the final quarter of ACC action, it was the home team with a comforting 27-7 lead.
Boston College began things in the home stretch by pushing the ball into Tar Heel territory. But the Carolina defense stepped up big time, holding the Eagles on a crucial fourth down attempt to get the ball back in the driver’s seat with 12:02 left in the game.
No one can question Carolina’s commitment to the run game in this game. Despite the lowly 2.2 yard average per rush attempt, UNC continued to pound the ball, especially now in the final period of play.
A 17-yard scamper by Renner set the Tar Heels at first and 10 from the opposing 28-yard line. T.J. Logan followed that up with a 16-yard snag to give the offense a first down just outside the 10-yard line.
And Carolina hit pay dirt with a 4-yard touchdown run by Marquise Williams. Carolina was in command of this one now, up 34-7 with 8:59 left in the game.
With the outcome no longer in doubt and the sun falling behind the stands in Kenan, many fans began to filter out of the stadium a s the temperatures kept plummeting.
But the unseasonably chilly conditions couldn’t put a damper on the day for Carolina. The dual threat quarterback combo put on an impressive clinic and ran all over the Boston College defense.
At the close of play, it was the Tar Heels claiming a 34-10 victory and improving to 2-5 on the season.